According to sources, the AK Party will organize visits for deputies and party authorities to countries that have not fully grasped the FETÖ threat after the July 15 coup attempt orchestrated by FETÖ. The AK Party Foreign Affairs Directorate will knuckle down to work in the new year. Deputies will share information with universities, academia, international partners and their counterparts in parallel with their studies.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials will travel abroad to better explain the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) threat and convey the message of the Turkish state on the issue.
In addition, the economic and business world will organize activities abroad. Various media organizations, especially social media, will be used in the work in accordance with the party's plan.
FETÖ is accused of orchestrating multiple coup attempts in Turkey, and its members face terrorism charges. The group runs a global network of schools and companies spanning the globe. Ankara has renewed efforts to extradite FETÖ suspects from abroad following last year's coup attempt.
High-ranking members of the terrorist group, including leader Fetullah Gülen, were already abroad, while those in lower ranks fled the country after its brutal coup attempt was suppressed. The Interpol liaison office of the Turkish police is spearheading efforts to bring back FETÖ members from abroad. Ankara vowed to bring every FETÖ suspect to justice in the aftermath of the coup attempt that laid bare just how desperate the terrorist group was to seize power in the face of the crackdown against it.
However, there are still many countries that have not positively responded to Ankara's warnings about the terrorist group. The AK Party plans to travel abroad and explain the threat is aimed at changing perceptions of the issue.
Germany especially stands out as the most popular spot for fleeing Gülenists. Ercan Karakoyun, who heads the Foundation for Dialogue and Education, a prominent FETÖ-linked organization operating in Germany, told German weekly Die Zeit in an interview that Germany will become "a new center" for the group.
According to information the paper obtained from the German Interior Ministry, 260 Turkish diplomats and 508 public servants have sought asylum since the July 15 coup attempt. Unconfirmed reports say that thousands of FETÖ suspects left for Germany after the coup attempt. In addition, a coup plotter said in a testimony in July 2016 that around 4,000 FETÖ members fled to Germany prior to the attempt.
Apart from its activities centering on Germany in Europe, the terrorist group is also active in Africa. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly warned African countries of the FETÖ threat. Many countries on the continent have transferred the administration of FETÖ-linked schools to Turkey's Maarif Education Foundation, a non-profit organization.